January 4th, 2016

green riverscape

Dragon Unbound by truebeasts

Title: Dragon Unbound
Fandom: Worm (Wordpress Link)
Pairing: Dragon/Defiant
Categories: Post-Canon, AU, Romance
Length: Epic (92 000 words)
Warnings: Character Death, Self-harm, Identity Issues

Author Website: truebeasts on AO3


Author’s Summary: After Scion's defeat, Dragon and Colin retreat to a foreign world to escape Teacher's machinations and, they hope, to fix Dragon's damaged programming. But every change has consequences, and every new freedom demands an equal sacrifice. (Post-canon AU)

Review:

Dragon Unbound is fairly incomprehensible without knowing the source material. Worm, for those who haven’t read it, is a long, well-written cape-punk webnovel. The setting explores how a world of super-heroes might come to be, including major super-hero tropes, and what it might be like to live in it. (Answer: The main character starts as an isolated, bullied and suicidally depressed teenage girl and her life gets worse.)

Dragon’s story was the most interesting of Worm’s sub-plots on a thematic level and in terms of engaging characterisation. While still anti-authoritarian and gritty, it veers more into post-cyberpunk territory, with people supporting and improving authority organisations even though they are flawed.

Dragon Unbound continues the themes of transhumanism, AI and what limits can ethically be placed upon the possessors of great personal power. As in canon, Dragon and Colin use their super-science skills to change each other physically and mentally, and the line between sweet and creepy is even more elusive.

This fic is set after the “final battle”, among the diaspora of parahuman fiefdoms that have resulted. The new heroes and authorities are adapting to the new situation and it’s very nice to have a positive look at the working of superheroic organisation.


Dragon Unbound on AO3
Dragon Unbound on Spacebattles